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Postgame Takes

Tomlin on everybody's best punch, Ben & more

Getting everybody's best punch: It was a game that was tighter than many might have expected, and one the Steelers had to claw their way back into, but in the end the Steelers walked away with a 24-19 win over the Dallas Cowboys for a franchise record 8-0 start to the season.

The Cowboys went into the game with a 2-6 record and quarterback Garrett Gilbert making his first NFL start, but the Steelers got their best on Sunday and were able to come from a 13-0 deficit to win.

"We're the Pittsburgh Steelers, everybody knows what that means," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We get everybody's best punch, regardless of record. I think people respect our brand and they respect our franchise and its history. That's been my experience over 14 years here. Regardless of our record, people know when they are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers and a certain responsibility that comes with our reputation. We're going to get people's best shot."

Tomlin once again said that he was proud of how the team stuck together through adversity on Sunday, but knows they can't let that continue to happen if they want to come out on top.

"Thankfully we've got a group that sticks together, that's mentally tough, that's able to persevere," said Tomlin. "I am thankful for that.

"We can't keep having these conversations every week because one of these weeks we'll be doing it with an 'L' if we're not careful. We're thankful to win today.

"We're excited about getting out of here with this one and moving on to AFC North football next week."

Going for it: Late in the fourth quarter, with the Steelers holding on to a 24-19 win and just :43 to play, the Steelers went for it on fourth-and-one from the Cowboys 15-yard line instead of kicking a field goal. James Conner was stopped for a four-yard loss.

After the game Tomlin explained the decision.

"We had struggled so much with our field goal group early in the game, I just didn't feel good about it," said Tomlin. "They were beating us to the punch pretty much for the better part of the day in special teams. We missed the extra point. They blocked the field goal attempt. We skyed a kick trying to pin them down in the territory and they flipped the field with a big kick return.

"I had just seen enough from them in teams. I have a great deal of confidence in our short yardage abilities. Obviously, it didn't work out for us there."

Ben update: After the game Ben Roethlisberger, who recorded his 68th career 300-yard passing game to pass Dan Marino for sixth on the all-time list, said his knee felt fine, and Tomlin also reiterated that when he was sent to the locker room before the half that he was confident he would be back in the second half.

"There was no issue with his availability. We were just getting him looked at. We wanted to get a jump on halftime. We got a turnover. We allowed Mason (Rudolph) to finish the half and leave him inside getting evaluated where he was."

He said it:
Tomlin on the 8-0 start:
"It's significant as we sit here today. Once I go to work tomorrow it will be less significant. We will be singularly focused on getting ready for our next AFC North opponent. That's life. I am appreciative of it but we're not going to dwell on it. We've got big time business coming up with AFC North ball."

He said it, take 2:
Tomlin on what the key is to play a complete game:
"Just keep coming to work every day. I am thankful we are winning in spite of that."

Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 9 game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium

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